Budget proposal allows state to keep planes

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A legislative panel working on a budget compromise has agreed to keep South Carolina’s two state planes but not let colleges use them for athletic recruiting.

A House-Senate conference committee voted Friday not to sell the planes that statewide officers and legislators can use at no cost to them.

Selling the planes was part of the Senate’s budget plan. But the idea failed in conference with the panel’s two House Republicans voting against it.

The panel did ban coaches from using the planes following reports of their use for Clemson’s football recruiting. Clemson did so under current law allowing agencies to use them for official business and pay by the hour.

Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Democrat running for governor, calls the decision to keep the planes a step backward.

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